Bagnères-de-Bigorre is located at the entrance to the upper valley of the Adour, below the Pic du Midi. The river is still a torrent has three sources, he digs into the mountains three axes, one to Chiroulet (15 miles from Bagneres) that ends in a parking lot and from where hiking routes. The other two sources are one of La Mongie (25 miles from Bagneres), on the slopes of the Col du Tourmalet, the other Payolle (20 miles from Bagneres), under the Col d'Aspin. It is therefore possible when the passes are open to make routes through Lourdes in loops on one side or Arreau and Saint-Lary on the other side.
Bagneres is a spa known since Roman times. But with Jeanne d'Albret as "tourism" is beginning to develop: walks in sedan chairs or horse excursions accompanied by Bagnèrais. Particularly popular, the city has received celebrities as Madame de Maintenon and the Dauphin, then Stendhal, Lamartine, Rossini ...
West side, Bagneres is backed by the forest. Remains of the romantic era of landscaped parks that climb through the mountains, forming a transition between urban civilization and wilderness, as Bedat and Vallone Hi.
The cuisine combines a very good meat and a tradition of légumage. Around Bagneres, farmers still live the traditional livestock (mainly cows and sheep): high in the calf's mother, the lamb of countries are excellent. The trout fishing in all arms of the Adour and is also part of delicacies. Emblem of the Pyrenees, the cabbage soup combines all the traditional products: the country ham, confit of pork and duck, Tarbais beans, cabbage, carrot, leek, turnip and potato. For dessert, Bagneres has two specialties, the pie of the Pyrenees and the cake to the pin.
Visit unavoidable, the Pic du Midi will leave a lasting impression: at 2,877 m, its terraces offer a 360 ° panorama of the Pyrenees mountains and the plains of southwestern France.
Relax and enjoy essential thermal spa offers all the benefits of water in a stunning setting reminiscent of a cathedral of glass and wood. Jacuzzi, misting, lively pool, jacuzzis, steam room, saunas, aqua music, but also individualized care, beauty, wellness and form.
We must walk in Bagneres to admire the architecture, very special. The gardens are home to many trees as astonishing in their essence as their age, some are more than a century old. Water is everywhere, with fountains, pools, numerous fountains of thermal waters with different qualities.
Bagneres has two museums, the museum Salies devoted to painting, the museum of marble which houses a fine collection of marbles of all colors, but also stacks or baths once used in the Spa.
Bagneres also a botanical conservatory that identifies and protects the Pyrenean flora. For the most threatened plants, greenhouses and an experimental garden study conditions of germination. Replants and the products are used to repair the damage caused to the facilities including the ski slopes.
The terrain is ideal for limestone caves, Bagneres has his own. Médous caves, discovered by Norbert Casteret. You can see beautiful concretions, and make a small boat ride on the underground river flowing through them.
As for sports, Bagneres has many amenities: several tennis courts, an 18 hole golf course, swimming pool. You can practice all sports, mountain hiking, cycling or biking with routes of all levels. The Adour allows depending on the location of fishing, but also water sports. Bagneres seen consistently grow Champions kayak and has a very active club. Around the library, you can always find partners for a game of petanque, a drive to see if there is competition.
And for the evening, you have the choice of film, theater and the Casino.
In all seasons and whatever the time, every Saturday, a big market beyond the hall and invades the streets and squares of Bagneres. There is food, including cheeses from the Pyrenees, clothing, plants, hardware. The most original is perhaps the wealth of individuals who settle for a morning to sell their garden produce, their hunting and harvesting.
Periodically, the Tour de France passes Bagneres, around or cross the passes of Tourmalet and Aspin, thus it is always the same festival.
The Festival of Maynats in late spring, during which time a weekend offers children 3 to 12 years a selection of theater, puppetry and music of the highest quality. This festival is held in the villages of the town of Bagneres community.
The Piano Festival Pyrenees can hear the best young pianists at the beginning of summer in late June, early July.
A Loud Voice Festival which takes place over 4-5 days during the August 15, is a tribute to singing and voice in all its expressions.
ATTRACTIONS, LEISURES AND ACTIVITES AROUND
Small villages (between 3 and 5 km) and their beautiful churches with finely chiseled baroque altars, where gold and color show the richness of the 18th century.
Athletes will find climbing rocks, two acrobatic forest one with a via ferrata, the other with a children's track 4 years.
The underworld is full of an old manganese mine turned into a museum and of course, other caves, such as that which has Esparros concretions of aragonite or of Gargas also known as the sanctuary of the hands and which preserves prehistoric remains, 27,000 years old. This site is very fragile, can be visited thanks to modern techniques that allow complex does not change the temperature, humidity and especially the light significantly.
For children, the hill to allow them to see marmots in the wild animals typical of the Pyrenees (Pyrenean chamois, ibex, marmots, otters ...) who live in semi-freedom.
Mauvezin Castle, a medieval fortress, about ten miles from Bagneres.
The cities around Lourdes (20 km), Pau (60 km). Thanks to the A64 motorway, Toulouse and Biarritz are only 1:30 Bagneres.
Gavarnie, a natural World Heritage Site by UNESCO.
Spain at 1:30.
Do not miss the early summer, the movement that brings together the flocks of sheep in Campan (4 km from Bagneres) to drive the cattle in summer pastures. This is a festive day where shepherds tourists to discover the old skills of farmers and their dogs.
From July to September, the streets, shops, gardens are overgrown with Campan mounaques, rag dolls caricatures of human scale of an old tradition inherited Bigorre, linked to the hullabaloo.